July 12, 2007: Waste Management has locked out 500 Teamsters in Oakland, Calif. for refusing to give in to company demands that they pay a larger share of their healthcare benefits.
The lockout by Waste Management is a calculated attack on our union’s efforts to build Teamster power in the wastehaul industry. It requires an equally strong response by our International Union and the solidarity of every Teamster.
The company locked out 500 Local 70 Teamsters two days before the July 4 holiday and brought in 200 scabs to perform union members’ jobs.
The media reports that garbage is “piling up” in Alameda County and that “stinking garbage is getting riper.” Local 70 has offered to renew the current contract under the same terms, but the company has remained intransigent in its demands.
“Our goal is to renew the old contract for another five years,” Local 70 Secretary-Treasurer Chuck Mack told the press. “We aren’t asking for anything new.”
Dress Rehearsal for LA
Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums says that Waste Management’s lockout of Local 70 Teamsters is a “dress rehearsal” for upcoming contract negotiations with Local 396 in Los Angeles.
This fall, Local 396 will negotiate contracts covering nearly 2,000 wastehaul Teamsters in Los Angeles County.
Management has waged a cynical media campaign to try to convince the public that the lockout is motivated by the company’s “safety concerns.” The truth is that it is part of a national drive by the corporation to force Teamsters to pay more for our healthcare and to undermine union organizing efforts across the industry.
Our Teamsters Union did not start this fight—but it is critical that we win it.
It’s time for our union to draw the line and tell Waste Management, “Don’t Trash Our Healthcare.”
To read more about the lockout by Waste Management, click the links below:
Take Out the Trash, Judge Tells Waste Firm - July 18, 2007
Trash Talks Make Progress - July 17, 2007
Oakland leaders go to court to try to get trash picked up - July 11, 2007
No New Talks--Stinking Garbage is Getting Riper - July 10, 2007
Day Four in Stinky Garbage Standoff - July 6, 2007